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PPD Researcher Development Programme

PPD Researcher Development Programme course timetable

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Wed 18 Jan – Thu 9 Mar

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January 2017

Mon 23
Lecturing: An Introduction for Postdocs (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) [Places] 15:00 - 17:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 5


This introductory workshop will examine the processes of preparing and giving lectures. It will encourage you to consider what makes a good lecture and what lecturing is for.

*Please note that this course is not aimed at PhD students*

Wed 25
Skills Analysis One-to-One (Engineering) CANCELLED 11:15 - 12:00 Department of Engineering, Signal Processing Seminar Room


What are transferable skills, why are they important and how do you know which ones to develop? This course gives you the chance to find out the answer to all these questions and more. It is also your chance to have input into the types of training you would like to spend your time on and speak to the people who could help develop them.


This course complements the supervising training and information your Department will provide. It is a course that consists of: an online module, which introduces practices and principles of undergraduate supervision at Cambridge, and a face-to-face workshop in which you will explore challenges and approaches to supervising.

By the end of this course you will know:

  • the purpose of supervisions at Cambridge
  • how to deal with common supervision scenarios
  • how to provide effective feedback
  • the practicalities of starting to supervise

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to supervising (including what supervisions are, format, preparing for them)
  • Background information for those who need it (British education system, Cambridge undergraduate system)
  • Role of a supervisor
  • Dealing with different supervision scenarios
  • Departmental information
  • Summary of what you have learnt
  • Practical tips and advice
  • Resources for ongoing support and information
Thu 26
Engage in Learning Programme new (1 of 4) [Places] 16:30 - 18:30 PPD, Revans Room

Engage in Learning is a theory and practice informed supervisor development programme on how to build supportive learning relationships. The programme is aimed at supervisors of Cambridge students with a minimum of three to five years’ experience of teaching in higher education.

Participants will explore challenges and approaches to building supportive supervisory relationships through dialogical learning activities — small group discussions, reflection exercises based on questions, film clips, case studies and dilemmas drawn from practice. Readings will be provided prior to each workshop. The programme will emphasise building on participants’ own experiences. Between each workshop participants will be asked to observe and keep a written log of specific experiences of supervision; these will be discussed in the subsequent workshop.

Workshops (key topics covered)
A maximum of 12 participants will attend four two-hour-long workshops. Each workshop will be held between 16:30 to 18:30.


26 January 2017
Workshop 1 (Principles 1 & 2)
Relationships for learning: theory, context. Building supportive relationships

  • Attachment theory
  • Mindfulness
  • Institutional identity
  • Communication


23 February 2017
Workshop 2 (Principles 1, 2 & 3)
Empowering and facilitation growth

  • Growth mindset
  • Relational power
  • Transformational learning
  • Self-efficacy


22 March 2017
Workshop 3 (Principles 1, 2, 3 & 4)
Maintaining a supportive relationship

  • Boundaries
  • Balance
  • Dialogical reflection


25 April 2017
Workshop 4
Engaging in learning together

  • Synthesis of themes and topics


Prior to registration please make sure that you are available on each of those days.

All workshops will be held at the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning, 25 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA. The map gives directions to PPD, where the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning is located.

February 2017

Wed 1
Starting Your PhD (Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences) [Full] 10:00 - 13:00 PPD, Revans Room

Beginning a PhD can be a daunting experience, but this half-day course is designed for first-year students to help you make the best start that you possibly can. It provides an overview of doing a PhD, complementary to other introductions you may attend. We examine what's involved in doing a PhD, how to usefully define 'research', and how to plan a research project.


Outcomes:

  • Understand what a PhD is, and what's involved in doing a PhD
  • Have a definition of 'research' that enables you to be effective
  • Be able to plan


This course complements the supervising training and information your Department will provide. It is a course that consists of: an online module, which introduces practices and principles of undergraduate supervision at Cambridge, and a face-to-face workshop in which you will explore challenges and approaches to supervising.

By the end of this course you will know:

  • the purpose of supervisions at Cambridge
  • how to deal with common supervision scenarios
  • how to provide effective feedback
  • the practicalities of starting to supervise

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to supervising (including what supervisions are, format, preparing for them)
  • Background information for those who need it (British education system, Cambridge undergraduate system)
  • Role of a supervisor
  • Dealing with different supervision scenarios
  • Departmental information
  • Summary of what you have learnt
  • Practical tips and advice
  • Resources for ongoing support and information
Tue 7
Postdocs: An Initial Guide to Leadership new [Places] 10:30 - 12:30 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

Are you in a formal leadership role, or have you taken on leadership positions informally?

This workshop will help you to consider the variety of situations and contexts you find yourself leading in and guide you in understanding your leadership skills and abilities so that you can improve them and deploy them thoughtfully. We will look at a variety of meanings and views of leadership, discover the 4 elements of leadership, consider various leadership styles, and reflect on leadership within and out of research environment.

We would encourage you to take this workshop as a brief introduction to leadership before attending more in-depth workshops, including Postdocs: Self-Leadership and Postdocs: Leading Others (coming soon).


Outcomes

  • Recognise own current skills and strengths in relation to developing further as a leader.
  • Review a range of definitions of, and styles of, leadership.
  • Apply to your own context.


Feedback from Michaelmas 2016:

“I found it interesting to define what leadership means and to understand the different styles there are.”

“It was a very interesting and different training which was very good to attend so as to know the skills to develop.”

Postdocs: Lecturing: An Introduction (Sciences) [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 9


This introductory workshop examines the processes of preparing and giving lectures. It will encourage you to consider what makes a good lecture and what lecturing is for.

*Please note that this course is not aimed at PhD students*

Thu 9
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

It’s that time of year: the report is looming on the horizon and the reality of writing is here!

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
Map your Postdoc Journey NOW! new [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

Have you started a postdoc at Cambridge? Now is the time to create a plan for how you would like it to unfold. In this workshop, we will consider how to navigate the research landscape, how to think strategically about your strengths, and how to develop mental and emotional discipline for coping with how demanding and competitive the research environment can be. We will explore case studies illustrating that there’s no one recipe for success, but there are common ingredients. You will identify potential obstacles that might stand in your way as well as enablers that will aid your career progression. This workshop is for postdoctoral researchers who want to maximise their chances of succeeding in their chosen careers.


Outcomes:

  • Devise an action plan for the near future including how to deal with the unexpected
  • Learn how to identify enablers and obstacles to career progression and how to work with or around them
  • Begin to take charge of your own career path


Feedback:

“It encouraged an overall view of thinking about my career and what I want out of it and what I am good at. It also covered examples of people who stayed in academia as well as those who did not, so that I was able to consider the pros and cons of more than just one route.”

“I'm right at the start of my post-doc and it helped me to think about what I wanted to get out of the next few years in terms of my career.”

Wed 15

If you’re feeling lost and uncertain about writing your first-year report – or if you want to become a more effective writer – this course has two objectives in its overall aim of helping you to improve your ability to write about your research:

1) To help you understand:

  • the requirements of the first-year report;
  • the writing process;
  • your work patterns as a writer.

2) To help you progress your writing by working through the techniques of:

  • writing warm-ups, to quell your internal editor so that you write more freely;
  • writing in layers, to help you develop an overall structure to your thesis, so that writing feels less daunting and you take a step towards ending procrastination.
Thu 16
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

It’s that time of year: the report is looming on the horizon and the reality of writing is here!

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
Mon 20
Introduction to Leadership new [Places] 09:30 - 16:30 Institute of Criminology, Room B3

Increasingly, successful researchers are expected to be leaders. This one-day event introduces participants to leadership by covering the 'four elements of leadership' and a set of tools to help you lead. To deepen the learning, you are given the opportunity to apply one of these elements with an associated tool, by leading a small group in an activity, who will then provide you with constructive feedback.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the four elements of leadership
  • Develop the skills of: meaningful brainstorming; planning with the end in mind; listening to summarize
  • Have increased confidence when leading
Wed 22

If you’re feeling lost and uncertain about writing your first-year report – or if you want to become a more effective writer – this course has two objectives in its overall aim of helping you to improve your ability to write about your research:

1) To help you understand:

  • the requirements of the first-year report;
  • the writing process;
  • your work patterns as a writer.

2) To help you progress your writing by working through the techniques of:

  • writing warm-ups, to quell your internal editor so that you write more freely;
  • writing in layers, to help you develop an overall structure to your thesis, so that writing feels less daunting and you take a step towards ending procrastination.
Thu 23
Effective Undergraduate Supervision (Life Sciences) [Places] 09:30 - 12:30 PPD, Revans Room

Why this course might make a difference:

Looking back at your experience of education you can probably remember those teachers and lecturers who were excellent. We remember the ones who were good because they have left a lasting impact on us; shaping both our learning in the past and our approach to teaching at Cambridge. Supervising undergraduate students at Cambridge can be one of the most rewarding activities for PhDs and Postdocs and this course is designed to make sure that you can offer your best and hopefully be one of those memorable teachers for someone else.

A blended workshop incorporates personal reflection on teaching practice, discussion of real teaching scenarios, a chance to ask questions from an experienced supervisor and access to practical information about organising and carrying out your supervisions.

This training is required by many colleges before you can carry out supervisions and is always a popular course.

About the trainer:
The course trainer is Dr Ben Murton who has over 12 years of teaching experience in Cambridge and was an undergraduate here as well. He is now a College Teaching Associate at St John's, a tutor on the Teaching Associates Programme and offers supervision coaching for Life Sciences supervisors.

If you have any specific questions you are welcome to contact him before the course on Ben.Murton@admin.cam.ac.uk

Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

It’s that time of year: the report is looming on the horizon and the reality of writing is here!

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
Engage in Learning Programme new (2 of 4) [Places] 16:30 - 18:30 PPD, Revans Room

Engage in Learning is a theory and practice informed supervisor development programme on how to build supportive learning relationships. The programme is aimed at supervisors of Cambridge students with a minimum of three to five years’ experience of teaching in higher education.

Participants will explore challenges and approaches to building supportive supervisory relationships through dialogical learning activities — small group discussions, reflection exercises based on questions, film clips, case studies and dilemmas drawn from practice. Readings will be provided prior to each workshop. The programme will emphasise building on participants’ own experiences. Between each workshop participants will be asked to observe and keep a written log of specific experiences of supervision; these will be discussed in the subsequent workshop.

Workshops (key topics covered)
A maximum of 12 participants will attend four two-hour-long workshops. Each workshop will be held between 16:30 to 18:30.


26 January 2017
Workshop 1 (Principles 1 & 2)
Relationships for learning: theory, context. Building supportive relationships

  • Attachment theory
  • Mindfulness
  • Institutional identity
  • Communication


23 February 2017
Workshop 2 (Principles 1, 2 & 3)
Empowering and facilitation growth

  • Growth mindset
  • Relational power
  • Transformational learning
  • Self-efficacy


22 March 2017
Workshop 3 (Principles 1, 2, 3 & 4)
Maintaining a supportive relationship

  • Boundaries
  • Balance
  • Dialogical reflection


25 April 2017
Workshop 4
Engaging in learning together

  • Synthesis of themes and topics


Prior to registration please make sure that you are available on each of those days.

All workshops will be held at the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning, 25 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA. The map gives directions to PPD, where the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning is located.

Tue 28
Postdocs: Effective Research Presentations (Group Workshop) new [Places] 10:30 - 12:30 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane

Would you like an opportunity to try out a presentation before presenting it live to your key audience?

This interactive workshop, which centres on you delivering of a five-minute presentation, will support participants to communicate research engagingly and effectively. In addition to reviewing useful patterns and styles of presentation, you will have the chance to observe others in action, as each participant presents their five-minute presentation. This workshop is for postdocs who want to achieve the greatest impact while presenting their work and to improve their public-speaking skills within a safe and collaborative environment. Feedback will be given to each participant.


Outcomes:

  • Improve on designing and delivering a successful presentation
  • Consider how to understand and engage your audience
  • Gain constructive feedback on how you present and further develop your style

March 2017

Thu 2
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 Postdoc Centre, Newman Library @ Biomedical Campus

It’s that time of year: the report is looming on the horizon and the reality of writing is here!

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing
Fri 3
MBTI: Understanding Personality in a Research Environment [Places] 10:00 - 16:00 PPD, Revans Room

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most widely used personality instrument worldwide. Based on over fifty years' worth of research, it presents a framework for understanding how you operate, how others operate, and how you can use that understanding to get more from yourself and the relationships you have with others.

This workshop is led by a qualified MBTI practitioner, and will involve taking the MBTI questionnaire as well as self-assessment with group exercises.


Outcomes:

  • Understand what MBTI is and its limitations as well as its strengths
  • Know and understand your MBTI type
  • Use MBTI knowledge in real-world applications such as communication, planning and relationships
Tue 7
Postdocs: Assisting with PhD Supervision new [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 The Postdoc Centre, Eastwood Room @ Mill Lane


Do you supervise PhD students? Though not official supervisors, many postdocs are involved in the process of supervising PhD students. You face the challenging task of fostering creativity, delivering feedback, and managing a supervisor-student relationship. This workshop explores the principles of good supervision, the art of delivering critical feedback for best results, and the teacher/learner roles of the supervisor-supervisee relationship. It is aimed at postdocs looking to develop their skills in effective and inspired pedagogy.

Outcomes:

  • Understand the teacher/learner roles central to the supervision of PhD students
  • Explore good practice for delivering feedback
  • Learn techniques for fostering creativity in students

Feedback:

“I got to know the procedure, approaches, common problems and solutions to the problems of PhD supervision, and [to understand that] supervision is a balancing act.”

“The framework introduced to describe different aspects of supervising a research student was really useful.”

Wed 8
Solving Research Problems Creatively [Full] 10:00 - 12:00 PPD, Revans Room

This two-hour course is intended to help you develop and feel more confident in your ability to think creatively. Participants are taken through a systematic two-part creative thinking process, exploring divergent and convergent thinking, as well as the 'rules' of brainstorming.


Outcomes:

  • Understand that creativity is a thinking process comprising divergent and convergent thinking
  • Have practiced strategies to improve your divergent and convergent thinking
  • Know a systematic creative thinking strategy for improving creative problem-solving
Building Resilience and Being Assertive [Full] 14:00 - 17:00 PPD, Revans Room

Perhaps by virtue of being at the interface of the known and the unknown, research seems to be inherently stressful. This half-day course helps you to cope with the vagaries of research by focussing on how to be assertive and the "three C's of emotional resilience": Commitment, Challenge, Control. By the end of the course: participants will know and develop effective coping strategies and learn about how to increase their commitment, challenge and control of their research.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the Three C's of emotional resilience
  • Develop effective coping strategies and tools to become more assertive
  • Feel more confident in your ability to cope with the PhD, wider research process, and life more generally
Thu 9
Introduction to Research Integrity at Cambridge new [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room E


This course will be delivered by the University’s Research Governance and Integrity Officer and will introduce researchers to research integrity and ethics at Cambridge. The course will:

  • explore the issue of research misconduct in academia and facilitate discussion of why and how it occurs
  • explain the recent research integrity agenda and examine how this effects researchers
  • discuss some of the challenges to the integrity of research and ask what individuals, groups and institutions can do to tackle them
  • introduce the University’s research ethics system
  • use case studies and discussion exercises to examine key issues
Writing Your First Year Report (Life Sciences ) [Places] 14:00 - 16:30 17 Mill Lane, Seminar Room B

It’s that time of year: the report is looming on the horizon and the reality of writing is here!

Aimed at first-year PhD students, this course is designed to get you thinking and working effectively on your end-of-first-year report / Certificate of Postgraduate Studies. How do you start? What is expected? How do you make it work for you? These and many other important questions, hints and tips will be addressed in this half-day session.


Outcomes:

  • Understand the form and function of the first-year report
  • Start planning the structure of your report
  • Experience the benefits of editing and providing feedback on writing